New Kortext analytics dashboard gives universities greater insights into student learning

Kortext Analytics

 

Kortext, the UK’s leading digital textbook platform, has launched a new analytics dashboard to give lecturers and university staff unprecedented insights into how students are engaging with their digital learning content.

 

On a day-to-day basis, Kortext Analytics gives lecturers access to data that will show how students on their modules are engaging with core reading and resources. On a more strategic level, it aims to help universities improve student engagement and progression as the data can be correlated with other university data to track students’ overall progress.

 

At a glance, using quick-view charts, graphs and tables, lecturers can see how many students on their modules have accessed their digital textbooks. They can also compare how students are using them, such as pages read and notes taken.

 

Andy Alferovs, managing director of Kortext, said: “When universities give their students printed textbooks, they have no way of knowing if, and how, students are engaging with them. However, with digital versions, universities can access valuable usage data that can be combined with other student data to drive engagement, progression and improve learning outcomes.”

 

Matthew Lawson, head of library and learning enhancement at Middlesex University, said: “The analytics dashboard that Kortext has developed provides a major enhancement of their platform. From within Kortext, module leaders can observe how their students are using their free personal etextbooks and managers can get an overview across the whole university. Over the coming months we will be exploring how engagement with etextbooks impacts on student achievement.”

 

Dr Geoff Bunn, senior lecturer, Department of Psychology, at Manchester Metropolitan University said: “Kortext Analytics is an easy to use and intuitive dashboard. I can see how many students on my psychology course have accessed our ebook so far, which is extremely useful to know.”

 

For more information, please visit http://www.kortext.com/

Windmill Primary School finds app solution to increasing parental engagement

 

Andy Howe, deputy head at Windmill Primary School, Oxford -hi re JPEG
Windmill Primary School Headington, Oxford - hi res JPEG

Windmill Primary School in Headington, Oxford, is a large primary school with a pupil roll of 570 in a very mixed catchment area.  In June 2015 the school was judged Outstanding by Ofsted who said: “The head teacher, extremely well supported by all governors and staff, leads a school where ‘Achievement through Community, Creativity and Challenge’ is the vision.”

 

Despite this success Windmill Primary was keen to improve the communication between home and school and see more involvement from parents at school events and in the daily life of the school. Here Andy Howe, deputy head at Windmill Primary explains the innovative solution the school used to solve this problem.

 

 

 

 

 

The challenge

The main challenge we faced was to communicate with all parents, to encourage them to attend events such as school plays and carol concerts and to enter into the life of the school.

 

We used to send out weekly newsletters, but because parents would often forget dates and times before the event we started to send reminders on social media and to interact via Facebook and Twitter.

 

This worked well but we felt it was not a good real-time solution for communicating with parents. Teachers could never be sure that parents would log into Facebook at the right time which could result in them missing important updates, for example about a school trip.

 

Texting was never a realistic option. It is inefficient and cumbersome. The cost of sending messages to mobile phones can be very expensive. Some companies charge 6p a message so we were not willing to go down that route.

 

In 2013 we sent out a survey and the overwhelming result was that parents would prefer an app.

 

The solution

We worked with Apps Central, creator of the School Calendar and News App and found this the best solution to meet our needs.  It had the functionality we were looking for and the image we wanted to project. The costings were good and it was a really professional product.  The app went live in October 2014.

 

Enabling real-time notification of important matters such as trips and activities, it is an ideal way to send frequent reminders to parents. We also use social media to drive the message home. The results speak for themselves as we now have better and larger attendance of school events.

 

There have been 500 downloads so far: 330 have been for Apple and 174 for Android. Although in some cases both parents of a child will have downloaded the app, I estimate the school has achieved 70% to 75% coverage. The school hopes to extend coverage and sends out reminders in the printed newsletter which we still send out.

 

On average there is a message every other school day. It links with social media so generally I will write a post for Facebook which is automatically replicated on Twitter and then as a news story on the app.

 

Benefits

 

Parents approve of the app and say it’s easy to download.  They like being connected and feel they are communicating better with school.

 

The messenger function on Apps Central’s School Calendar and News App has been particularly useful for real-time communication and the school can target messages at specific groups – for example, they can send a message to say that a coach returning Year 4 pupils from a school trip is going to be 15 minutes late so parents do not need to rush into school.

 

The app has a pin number which is sent out in a newsletter so staff can ensure that only parents and people closely connected with the school have access to the calendar of events and activities. This gives an extra layer of security which is very reassuring for parents.

 

While I cannot put a figure on savings, I know that the school is spending less on photocopying. We are also saving time because a simple short reminder on the app reaches most parents, replacing the need to send letters. The app is easy for staff to use and Apps Central populates a basic calendar with events and key dates at the beginning of each school year which can quickly be amended and edited to suit changing circumstances.

 

It is an all-in-one solution. Apps Central offers a fast professional service and the app has proved perfect for our needs. Parents are more engaged in school life and directly informed of news relevant to them.

7 Ways to Make Your ICT Spend Go Further

Technology is changing the world and will inevitably have a huge impact on the world our children grow up into. But as it becomes an increasingly integral part of education, so does the challenge for schools to save money, spend it wisely and use ICT more effectively.

 

Major cost-effective technological trends in education – such as the introduction and embedding of cloud-based applications and services – place ICT back under the control of your senior leadership team.  Martin Pipe, Head of Service Design and Scope at leading ICT services provider RM Education, looks at how can you ensure the technology in your school is working for you – and your budget.

 

#1: Getting the basics right

 

Developing an ICT strategy which empowers teachers and learners, creates tangible improvements and fuels innovation both in and out of the classroom needn’t cost the earth, but it does need to start with a clear plan of what you actually want to achieve. So think about the particular challenges in your school or group of schools – what have school inspectors recommended you work on? And what kind of apps, devices and tools do your teachers like to use? Your ICT strategy should fully support your teachers’ pedagogy and become an intrinsic part of your Strategic Development Plan or School Improvement Plan, rather than standing alone as a separate objective.

 

#2: Navigating around budget restrictions

 

One of the most effective ways to reduce ICT costs is to change the way your budgets are used. Rather than having a large capital outlay on hardware and replacing costly servers like-for-like when they reach the end of their functional service, you could become a ‘serverless school’ where services and systems are delivered to staff and students through the internet.  This allows the costs to be spread through a friendlier revenue model, and means you can opt for more cost-effective internet-optimised devices for your teachers and students. This model not only makes financial planning easier but reduces the need for schools to build up a capital fund for future ICT purchases.

 

#3: Reducing ICT support costs

 

Another financial benefit of this approach is a reduction in maintenance and support service costs, since cloud-based solutions have no local servers to manage, maintain, repair and in due course, replace. Usability is improved too, as staff and students can access systems from anywhere, on any internet-enabled device, rather than just within the school network. This allows Senior Leadership Teams to access the MIS from home or students to collaborate on and complete projects in the evening. Our research has indicated that having remote support in place can be infinitely more cost-effective for schools, with on average 60% of issues resolved remotely, reducing the need for a large on-site technical team and allowing schools to concentrate on physical tasks. Using outsourced support services will minimise unforeseen costs, mitigate future risks and support long-term cost savings of at least 15%.

 

#4: Making savings across a group

 

If you’re in a group of schools, you could also scale up and share IT support across the trust and when coupled with preferred ICT agreements and volume purchasing, ICT costs can be scrutinised at a central level, ensuring all schools in the trust are receiving the financial benefits delivered through economies of scale. As the preferred ICT provider to The Academies Enterprise Trust (AET), RM Education have, over the last two years, been part of a project which has helped AET to migrate their academies over to Google Apps for Education, complemented by a more cloud-based and server-less approach across all of their educational and operational functions. As part of the project, AET has explored potential cost savings derived from embracing these cloud tools. Over five years, the Trust are predicted to save £900,077 in costs as well as a substantial £7,701,044 in benefit savings**.

 

#5: Learning leading technology

 

Many schools’ ICT investment plans are driven by the latest technology trends, where ICT investment hasn’t been steered as to how the technology could and would support their pedagogy.  Conversely there are other schools that have always had an ICT suite of 30 computers and as they get older they begin to slow down, the school simply goes out and buys the same again because that’s what they’ve always done. But what if you don’t even need these computers? What if your pupils are only really using them to write a few documents or do some brief research on the internet? In that case, you would probably be better with something like a Chromebook, which gives you access to tools like Google Classroom for free. And, since the devices are half the cost of a PC, you’re immediately reducing your spend as well as using a more collaborative tool which will help give your students future career skills.

 

#6: Keeping up with fast-moving changes

 

It is well documented that there is an increasing pressure on schools to keep up to date with fast-moving changes in technology. These demands however aren’t necessarily coming from the government or any curriculum-based changes though, although there is a need to deliver at curriculum level on subjects such as coding. Rather, these drivers ultimately come from children and parents since they are regularly using the latest technology in their everyday lives. There will always be challenges implementing any new technology, but your ICT provider should know your school well enough to be able to make tailored recommendations about what technology could work best for you and solve issues which are unique to your individual learning environment.

 

#7: Mitigating lost teaching time

 

Ever-decreasing budgets aren’t the only issue schools face when it comes to technology; time is a huge factor too. There are only a set number of teaching hours in the school year, so if your network goes down and you lose days of teaching time – particularly during a GCSE year – you will reach a point where that lost time can never be regained. Through focusing on the pedagogical outcomes to which your school aspires and using them to shape your ICT strategy, precious budgets can be spent in a manner that provides the maximum return.

 

For more information on the above, and to read about the experiences of other schools already on this journey, visit www.rm.com

 

* Based on RM Education’s independent survey, 2015 http://bit.ly/1RhUUvU

** AET, Google Apps Cost Savings and Benefits http://bit.ly/1Rs8jzK

 

English as an Additional Language (EAL) Intervention Programme from Twinkl helps schools integrate new to English children into school life

Net flow of 330,000 long-term migrants

moved to the UK last year

 

New from Twinkl is the EAL Intervention Programme, an eight-week scheme of work including a Language Assessment and Maths Assessment, designed to help teaching assistants and specialist EAL (English as an Additional Language) teachers integrate new to English pupils with little or no language skills into the classroom.

Developed by an experienced EAL teacher, Twinkl’s EAL Intervention Programme is a ready-made plan of activity for 1:1 or group teaching, designed to help teachers sidestep the planning process and free up their time to focus on the care and nurture of new to English children, many of whom have not attended school in their home country and are often traumatised, anxious and isolated.

Included in the programme are fourteen packs covering Settling into School, Survival Vocabulary, Fine Motor Skills, Country of Origin, Nouns and Verbs, Sentence Construction, Speaking and Listening and Math Vocabulary. Each pack includes lesson plans, and a mixed range of bright and colourful resources including posters, cue cards, games, maps and activity sheets. A further pack providing 5 basic maths lessons to span one week is also available.

Commenting on the launch, Mark Wilson, Chief Operating Officer of Twinkl, said: “Last year a net flow of 330,000 long-term migrants moved to the UK. Heavy demand from our 1 million strong community of teachers prompted Twinkl to develop its new EAL Intervention Programme. We were keen to create a scheme of work that would help teachers meet the challenges of integrating into schools the growing number of ‘new to English’ pupils and helping those children on the right road to a rewarding and successful education.”

For more information please visit

http://www.twinkl.co.uk/resources/planit-intervention-primary-teaching-resources/planit-eal-primary-teaching-resources/planit-eal-basic-skills-primary-teaching-resources

APPRENTICES IN SCHOOLS HAVING HUGE IMPACT WITH 60% INCREASE IN SCHEME UPTAKE

As the Government consults on increasing public sector apprenticeships, an increasing number of primary and secondary schools are witnessing the multiple benefits of taking on apprentices in positions from Business Administrators to Teaching Assistants.

 

Over the past year, National Schools Training (NST), the largest provider of apprenticeships in schools in England, has seen an increase of over 60% of people taking up apprenticeships as part of their campaign, “One By 2020”, which aims for there to be an apprentice in every school by 2020. The total amount of learners grew from 1,326 in January 2015 to 2,147 in January 2016 and NST have now delivered apprenticeships in over 2,000 schools – a campaign milestone.

 

NST apprenticeships are making a huge impact on schools across the country. NST’s focus on quality is demonstrated by impressive learner success rates, often hitting 95% for some frameworks. This success is particularly evident amongst those starting apprenticeships between the ages of 16 and 18 years old who are using the training as a launch pad into employment or additional education.

 

The benefits are being seen by school staff and apprentices alike:

 

Ø  Assistant Principal of The Clarendon Academy, Julie Thomas, has increased the number of apprenticeships available in school from one to three after a successful first year, with hopes for further increases in future.

Ø  Walwayne Court Primary School Teaching Assistant Apprentice, Holly White, has progressed into her second year as a Level 2 apprentice and has highlighted the benefit of a “learning on the job” route, saying she would “definitely recommend the apprenticeship”.

Ø  Head teacher of The John of Gaunt School, Mike Gunston, identifies the availability of the apprenticeships in schools as a positive viable alternative progression route for young people who wouldn’t ordinarily wish to attend sixth form. The school has a Level 2 Apprentice in the position of facilities management.

 

The NST campaign ties in with the Government’s own target – to create 3 million new apprenticeships by 2020. The Government has earmarked the public sector for the delivery of a significant number of these apprenticeships, cited in a speech by the Prime Minister, David Cameron, in December 2015 and announced in a consultation today (25th January 2016). Schools can make a significant contribution towards achieving this.

 

 

Commenting, National Schools Training (NST) Director Lee Povah, said:

 

“It’s great to see how schools are realising the multiple benefits of taking on apprentices, and that the Government are recognising the importance and value of apprenticeships across the public sector.

 

“Schools are realising the huge contribution an apprentice can make to school performance, and young adults are embracing this alternative progression route which is often more desirable than other options.

 

“The One By 2020 campaign has made significant progress already with over 2,000 schools taking on at least one apprentice – however there is a long way to go to achieve the ambition of every school having an apprentice.

 

“We will be responding to the Government’s consultation and are working with policymakers to help realise this vision and encourage head teachers, school business managers and others who might be interested in an apprenticeship to get in touch!”

 

HANDS-ON STEM PROJECT WORK LEADS TO POSITIVE EFFECT ON STUDENTS’ GCSE GRADES AND FUTURE SUBJECT CHOICES

First quantitative evidence published by the British Science Association on the impact of extra-curricular STEM interventions

A Pro Bono Economics report, published today (Wednesday 27 January 2016) by the British Science Association (BSA), reveals that students who have taken a CREST Silver Award – a hands-on, extra-curricular STEM project – achieved half a grade higher on their best science GCSE result, compared to a matched control group.

The report, conducted by a group of volunteer economists, is the first independent review of its kind on the effect that undertaking practical, hands-on science projects can have on student attainment and subject choice.  The findings include:

  • Students who took Silver CREST achieved half a grade higher on their best science GCSE result compared to a statistically matched control group.
  • Students who undertake a CREST Silver Award are 21% more likely to take a STEM AS Level. 82% of Silver CREST students took a STEM AS Level, compared to 68% of a statistically matched control group.
  • Silver CREST students eligible for Free School Meals (FSM) saw a larger increase in their best science GCSE (two thirds of a grade) compared to a matched control group who were also eligible for FSM.
  • Students who were eligible for Free School Meals and took part in a CREST Silver Award were 38% more likely to take a STEM subject at AS Level than the matched control group.
  • Students who undertake Silver CREST have higher average GCSE grades compared to those who did not do a CREST Silver Award.
  • The sample for this analysis included 2.4 million Key Stage 4 students (of whom 3,800 took CREST Silver) and 1.0 million Key Stage 5 students (of whom 2,300 took a Silver CREST Award).
  • Half (50%) of students taking Silver CREST Awards were young women.

CREST Awards is the BSA’s flagship education programme, which allows 11 to 19-year-olds to explore real-world science, technology, engineering and maths by curating a unique hands-on project. It is a practical science intervention, which seeks to broaden students’ interest in science and encourage them to continue with STEM subjects.

There are four levels of Awards in the CREST programme; Discovery, Bronze, Silver and Gold, which each require increasing amounts of teacher and student time and mentor involvement.  The analysis in this report, Quantifying CREST: what impact does the Silver CREST Award have on science scores and subject selection?, focuses on students in English state schools aged 14-16 who took part in CREST Silver Awards between 2010 and 2013.

Imran Khan, Chief Executive of the British Science Association, said:

“In the 30 years that the CREST Awards have been running, we’ve known that doing practical, creative science & technology projects have increased students’ enjoyment and understanding of science – but it’s fantastic to now have quantitative evidence of their impact on academic attainment, too. We’ve found that students who do these kinds of projects through the CREST framework also get better GCSEs and are more likely to pick STEM AS Levels.

“As a society, we need more and more young people who are curious about, and comfortable with, science – not least to ensure that we have a competitive economy and vibrant culture – so we hope that this report encourages more young people, teachers, schools, and parents to explore science and technology through the CREST Awards.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the whole team at Pro Bono Economics who have volunteered many hours of their own time to produce this report, and to make some excellent recommendations for the BSA and education sector to take forward for the future.”

In order to conduct the research for this report, data collected by the BSA on students starting Silver CREST Awards between 2010 and 2013, was linked to data in the National Pupil Database. This enabled the authors (Rosie Stock Jones, Tom Annable, Zoe Billingham and Cee MacDonald) to bring together information on CREST participants with pupil characteristics, attainment and subject selection data.

Propensity Score Matching was used to create a control group of students who did not take part in CREST, but had similar characteristics to those who did. Key Stage 2 (KS2) SATs results were used to control for prior attainment. Other control variables included gender, ethnicity, region of school, year of GCSEs, participation in triple award science, type of school, free school meal status in the six years prior to taking GCSEs and the Income Deprivation Affecting Children Index (IDACI).

Karen Hancock, Economist, Pro Bono Economics, and Ex-Chief Economist, Department for Education, said:

“There are always caveats with this type of analysis, but the results suggest that students participating in the Silver CREST Awards achieve about half a grade higher on their best science GCSE result on average compared with a statistically-similar control group. Silver CREST students were also 21% more likely to take a STEM AS level subject than control group students.  We hope that the results of this report will support the British Science Association in making a case for encouraging greater uptake of the CREST Awards in schools.”

The authors have made several recommendations for further work, including replicating this analysis through a Randomised Control Trial, broadening it to cover Discovery, Bronze and Gold Award types and conducting a cost benefit analysis for schools.

HCSS Education strengthens its team with senior appointments

HCSS Education, a leading education finance specialist, has strengthened its leadership team with the appointment of two senior members of staff following a period of significant growth.

Martin Sutcliffe has joined the firm as a support and training manager and Eleni Kettles has been appointed as customer relationship marketing (CRM) manager as part of the firm’s dynamic expansion plans. 

Martin will be responsible for providing support during the development of the firm’s new accounting software for schools. In the build up to the launch, Martin will be liaising with the technical team to put together a comprehensive training plan that covers all aspects of the software and provides schools with all the support needed. Then following its launch he will be implementing this training plan to school staff to ensure that all information is transferred over from the old finance systems to the new software as seamlessly as possible.

Prior to his role at HCSS Education, Martin worked as a consultant, setting up and managing administration systems and networks for small businesses. He also worked on a consultant basis as an installation engineer for RM Education, a leading software supplier for the education sector. As part of this role he managed the migration of schools’ old administration systems over to the RM Education software. He also provided on-site training on a one-to-one basis or for groups of up to 25 people to ensure schools were up and running with the new software.

Eleni has been appointed to support HCSS Education’s marketing department and will be responsible for developing strategies to effectively manage customer relationships. She will be working to create an accurate customer profile to better understand their unique needs and will also help to manage the overarching marketing strategy.

Eleni spent eight years working in the marketing department for home shopping retailer JD Williams. Six of those years were spent working with its high street brand division, Simply Be, where she quickly rose up the ranks from marketing executive to CRM Manager before taking up her position at HCSS Education.

Commenting on her appointment, Eleni Kettles, said: “With my extensive knowledge of CRM, I endeavour to build strong relationships with new and existing customers and support the business in its substantial growth targets over the next few years.

“I look forward to providing support for both the marketing team and for the wider business to help contribute to its growing success”.

Howard Jackson, CEO of HCSS Education, said: “We’re delighted to welcome both Martin and Eleni to our company to strengthen two of our busy departments. Both have a wealth of experience in their specialist areas and we are looking forward to seeing what they can bring to their teams. They have already displayed an impressive level of leadership and expertise and we’re thrilled to have them on board as we look to expand further in 2016 and beyond.

“Both appointments come as part of our ambitious expansion plans following a great year in which we reported a significant rise in revenue. As part of these plans we have invested heavily in developing new software, training and in expanding our work force, and both Martin and Eleni will play an important role in moving the business forward.”

 For more information, please visit http://www.hcsseducation.co.uk/

hey!tech at BETT 2016 make your classes more interactive!

January 2016-. Crambo, value added wholesaler and supplier of integrated solutions for Education, will present the latest in classroom technology at BETT 2016 (Booth B408) from 20 to 23 January in London.

BETT 2016 is the most important event in the educational sector, where the latest technological trends that are coming into the classroom are shown, as well as a wide range of solutions that Crambo, as value added partner, develops in different projects.

hey!tech: Make your classes more interactive!

Hey!tech is a pioneering and worldwide unique technology that is built into the back of devices through a 16×16 dot display. It allows interaction with the environment by displaying everything that happens on the screen and giving real-time feedback.Everybody will want to participate! Kids won´t be afraid any more to be the first one to raise their hand or express their opinion in public.

The teacher would have an instant feedback to supervise if the students understand the current lesson and supervise if they are on the correct web or app. In this way teacher can adapt the pace of the class making sure everybody has understood the lesson.

The teacher would have an instant feedback to supervise if the students understand the current lesson and supervise if they are on the correct web or app. In this way teacher can adapt the pace of the class making sure everybody has understood the lesson. Though different interactive games between the teacher and the kids hey!tech will make classes more interactive! Kids won´t be afraid any more to be the first one to raise their hand or express their opinion in public. Learning has never been this fun!

“hey!tech helps kids express themselves and at the same time teachers can supervise the level of understanding and adapt the pace of the class. It´s a win to win technology”, Miguel Ángel García Manchado, hey!tech CEO says.

There are different modes available:

Traffic light: Students will have a traffic light where they can easily express if they understand the subject or they got lost during the class.

Quick Test: The teacher can throw a question with different possible responses and the students will choose the one they think it´s right.

“Raise your hand”: Students can use this option whenever they have a question or they want to share something with the class.

 

Video: https://vimeo.com/152133139

 

OnBook: Secure Digital Backpack

Crambo leverages its presence at the show to present one of the most innovative solutions that integrates value, education and training, by providing both a multidisciplinary approach between pedagogy and technology: OnBook.

OnBook is a unique educational solution in the world, developed exclusively for the educational environment that has seven powerful tools that allow its use to all actors in the educational community: students, teachers and parents. But the most important is that the software “Secure Digital Backpack” is designed to enable the full potential of the tablets in the classroom, whilst maintaining total security over the content that they can access through their devices.

It integrates the most advanced Parental Control that is built into the tablets at the manufacture stage, so it is impossible to uninstall or circumvent. Parents can set the most appropriate security level for their children at home without interfering with school protocols and directives. Similarly, it includes a Content Filtering that protects students in any situation and at any time of day, because it allows the school to choose the web pages, words or phrases to filter, making it a very effective tool to combat cyber-bullying, among other uses.

OnBook has other useful tools: Application Management, Control classroom teacher and student, Geoschool theft, etc. The first brand to integrate OnBook has been Vexia.

Technology at the classroom

The Spanish technological brand Vexia, also participates at BETT 2016 with its solutions range focused on the educational sector. Intuitive Portablet (2 in 1) and tablets, specifically designed for education as an essential tool in the classroom.

Attendees will learn about will exhibit Vexia Portablet 10 Plus 2 (2 in 1: Tablet + keyboard). It is an advanced device with Intel® Atom ™ Quad Core processor, 2 GB of RAM and 10.1″ screen. It´s a powerful device that will provide everything kids would need for their classes. Also, it is fully equipped with Windows 10 to enjoy all multimedia contents and applications. It has a customizable keyboard for use as a portable at classroom. The most complete 2 in 1 and with a lower price than any laptop in the market.

DISCOVERY EDUCATION WINS BETT AWARD FOR EARLY YEARS DIGITAL CONTENT

Discovery Education Espresso’s Dinosaur Module has been announced as the winner of this year’s BETT AWARD for Early Years Digital Content.

 

The engaging multimedia content, which uses stunning Discovery Channel CGI footage to bring dinosaurs to life, is one of the most popular resources in Discovery Education’s Espresso service.

 

The award was presented at BETT’s annual ceremony in London last night.

Lewis Bronze MBE, Founder and Director of Content at Discovery Education said:

“We’re delighted to be presented with a prestigious BETT award, one of the highest accolades in the industry. Our Dinosaur Module is an exciting addition to our award-winning Espresso service, and gives teachers a whole range of multimedia resources, including incredible CGI footage, to bring this fascinating topic to life. The content can be used right across the curriculum, and covers a range of EYFS goals.”

Discovery Education Espresso is a video-rich digital learning service for primary schools. With nearly 20,000 digital media resources, which can be applied to any lesson, the service supports the delivery of the National Curriculum and helps teachers to integrate digital media into everyday learning.

Discovery Education was also a finalist in two further BETT Award categories:

  • The Discovery Education Espresso Phonics Module: finalist in BETT’s Primary Digital Content category. Aligned to the DfE’s Letters and Sounds programme, the video-rich multimedia content is used in primary schools across the UK to prepare younger children for reading and spelling.
  • Discovery Education Espresso Sweden: finalist in the International Digital Education Resource category. The service is used in over 600 Swedish primary schools, and provides digital media resources for all subjects from Förskoleklass to Year 6.

The 18th annual BETT Awards received more entries than ever before. Recognised by many as the most important awards in the industry, BETT finalists are seen to be at the cutting edge of ICT provision to schools.

Introducing Eastern stories to the ‘Disney’ generation Through cultural learning – bought to you by Snowflake Books

ch1

Snowflake Books (www.snowflakebooks.co.uk) Celebrate this Chinese New Year (February 8th 2016)and captivate your imagination with beautifully illustrated stories.  A collection of fairy-tales and legends, stories of Chinese festivals, wisdoms and traditions published in hardback, written in both Mandarin and English.

Established in 2010, this UK based company has been selling books worldwide to children of all ages and are dedicated to help school children everywhere discover the human values shared between East and West.

The books are not just key learning tools for those learning Mandarin, but also act as a gateway to everyone that wants to discover Chinese culture through detailed illustrations. Features include CD’s at the back of the books and word lists to help make learning easy for children aged 5 years to 15.

 

Each book takes you on a journey to old China, with captivating colour illustrations on every page that converse wisdom, humanity and valuable lessons for children. All books produced in the range are of a high paper and colour quality with the majority in hard-back covers, designed to be passed down from child to child.

Stories include, Naughty Monkey; (To mark 2016’s Year of The Monkey) In Chinese folk-lore the Jade Emperor was the ruler of heaven, Naughty Monkey was called Red Bottom Horse Monkey, as he had a very big red bottom. In the old Chinese language, horse can mean big. Naughty Monkey’s story was first recorded in a very ancient manuscript as early as the 4th century BC.  He is believed to be the origin of the famous Monkey King in Journey to the West. RRP £12.99.  Silly Billy, The Wise Goat; a story about a unicorn-goat, in very ancient Chinese legend, a unicorn goat is the wisest of all. Regarded as one of the magic animals, a story of how a little silly goat became such a special mythical unicorn-goat.  RRP £12.99.

Founders and authors Su Yen Hu and Lihui Wang comment:      “We are an entirely independent UK registered company with employees based in the UK and Taiwan, without doubt we believe passionately in the value of international cooperation and understanding.  In today’s society, more children are learning Mandarin than ever and we want our books to help make young children feel that Chinese culture and language is not at all alien. Not only do we want to make learning fun and memorable but we want to bring to life through our illustrated books some of our magnificent Chinese traditions and folklores and to familiarise readers with traditional Chinese ways of thinking and living which are still roots of modern China.